T-SQL Decommenter Part I

  • Toby Ovod-Everett

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 156

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item T-SQL Decommenter Part I

  • Phil Parkin

    SSC Guru

    Points: 243282

    An interesting approach, with quite a lot of time invested in it!

    I come at this from a different angle. All of my source code is contained in several local Git repositories & I am able to search that code (usually just .sql and .dtsx files) using third-party search software (I use FileSeek). This software allows for the search of regular expressions, so ignoring words which appear after in-line comments is easy enough. Handling block comments would be more tricky.

    If the answer to your question can be found with a brief Google search, please perform the search yourself, rather than expecting one of the SSC members to do it for you.

  • eliassal

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1261

    nice and useful idea.It helps a lot, thanks for your hard work

  • Lee Linares

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2662

    Toby,

    Thanks for taking the time to develop and share this code. Very useful.
     I have run into an issue that has me stumped. When I run the script against a database that has several large stored procedures the script errors out with errors like these:
      Msg 9455, Level 16, State 1, Line 92
      XML parsing: line 779, character 109, illegal qualified name character

      Msg 9455, Level 16, State 1, Line 1
      XML parsing: line 626, character 109, illegal qualified name character
    It does not error out on all of them. In fact it executes great against the largest stored procedure. I have looked at and compared the stored procedures that parsed into xml without error and those that failed and nothing jumps out at me.
    What I find interesting is that when I found the line referenced in the error it was a '<' in 2 of the stored procs and an ampersand in the other one. But in each case there were other occurrences of  '<' and '&' that occurred in previous lines of code in the stored proc.
    My workaround was to replace: 
    CAST(N'<?def --' + NCHAR(13)+NCHAR(10) + [Definition] + NCHAR(13)+NCHAR(10) + N'--?>' AS xml)
    With
    TRY_CONVERT(XML,N'<?def --' + NCHAR(13)+NCHAR(10) + [Definition] + NCHAR(13)+NCHAR(10) + N'--?>',1)

    This keeps the code from failing but of course the definition is not created.
    Thanks again. 

    Lee

  • Toby Ovod-Everett

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 156

    Lee Linares - Friday, November 16, 2018 1:36 PM

    Toby,

    Thanks for taking the time to develop and share this code. Very useful.
     I have run into an issue that has me stumped. When I run the script against a database that has several large stored procedures the script errors out with errors like these:
      Msg 9455, Level 16, State 1, Line 92
      XML parsing: line 779, character 109, illegal qualified name character

      Msg 9455, Level 16, State 1, Line 1
      XML parsing: line 626, character 109, illegal qualified name character
    It does not error out on all of them. In fact it executes great against the largest stored procedure. I have looked at and compared the stored procedures that parsed into xml without error and those that failed and nothing jumps out at me.
    What I find interesting is that when I found the line referenced in the error it was a '<' in 2 of the stored procs and an ampersand in the other one. But in each case there were other occurrences of  '<' and '&' that occurred in previous lines of code in the stored proc.
    My workaround was to replace: 
    CAST(N'<?def --' + NCHAR(13)+NCHAR(10) + [Definition] + NCHAR(13)+NCHAR(10) + N'--?>' AS xml)
    With
    TRY_CONVERT(XML,N'<?def --' + NCHAR(13)+NCHAR(10) + [Definition] + NCHAR(13)+NCHAR(10) + N'--?>',1)

    This keeps the code from failing but of course the definition is not created.
    Thanks again. 

    Lee

    Hi Lee,

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention.  I'm guilty here of using a technique without fully validating it!  I first noticed the technique in Adam Machanic's sp_whoisactive.  http://whoisactive.com/docs/10_commands/ provides an illustration of the approach.  In older versions of SSMS, there was no support for "Retain CR/LF on copy or save", so one trick was to embed the SQL in and XML definition.  Modern SSMS versions have support for CR/LF retention, but they still have a restriction on the maximum size of the text that can be retrieved, so XML is still a workaround.

    There is a thread on this subject at https://sqlblogcasts.com/blogs/martinbell/archive/2009/10/25/How-to-display-long-text-in-SSMS.aspx .  Unfortunately, I'm stymied when it comes to a robust solution.  I can come up with solutions that escape the problematic sequences (in this case, I believe it to be '?>'), but that requires a human to unescape the escapes after copying out the body.  It also falls victim to ambiguity between escaped sequences that match unescaped sequences in the original SQL.  Note that whilw experimenting, I discovered the '--' in the closing '--?>' is unnecessary.

    Another approach would be to bypass the XML workaround and use SSMSBoost, but that feature isn't available in the Community Edition.

    Here is a quick test suite for playing around with approaches:
    WITH
    Tests AS (
        SELECT V.[SQL]
        FROM ( VALUES
                (    N'SELECT *'+NCHAR(13)+NCHAR(10)+
                    N'FROM <bar> Foo' ),
                (    N'SELECT *, ''?>'''+NCHAR(13)+NCHAR(10)+
                    N'FROM <bar> Foo' ),
                (    N'SELECT *, ''--'''+NCHAR(13)+NCHAR(10)+
                    N'FROM <bar> Foo' ),
                ( NULL )
            ) AS V([SQL])
    )
    SELECT
        [SQL],
        TRY_CAST(N'<?def --' + NCHAR(13)+NCHAR(10) + [SQL] +
                    NCHAR(13)+NCHAR(10) + N'--?>' AS xml) AS ProcessingInstruction,
        TRY_CAST(N'<?def --' + NCHAR(13)+NCHAR(10) + REPLACE([SQL], '?>', '? >') +
                    NCHAR(13)+NCHAR(10) + N'?>' AS xml) AS ProcessingInstructionEscape,
        TRY_CAST(N'<!--' + NCHAR(13)+NCHAR(10) + [SQL] +
                    NCHAR(13)+NCHAR(10) + N'-->' AS xml) AS Comment
    FROM Tests;

  • Lee Linares

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2662

    Toby,

    Thanks so much for the quick response.
    I tried your excellent suggestions and found that the 2nd approach using REPLACE fixed my problem perfectly.
    I have found your script to be extremely helpful in a task I am involved in where we have changed naming conventions and I needed to find references in procedures using linked server connections.

    Thank you again for sharing your code and for your additional help.

    Lee

  • Toby Ovod-Everett

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 156

    Lee Linares - Monday, November 19, 2018 7:36 AM

    Toby,

    Thanks so much for the quick response.
    I tried your excellent suggestions and found that the 2nd approach using REPLACE fixed my problem perfectly.
    I have found your script to be extremely helpful in a task I am involved in where we have changed naming conventions and I needed to find references in procedures using linked server connections.

    Thank you again for sharing your code and for your additional help.

    Lee

    Just keep in mind that when the REPLACE resolves the issue, that implies there is a "?>" somewhere in the original source code, and the original source code has now been modified to have a "? >" in it.  Furthermore, one cannot assume that all "? >" sequences in the output were originally "?>", since both "?>" and "? >" in the original source code will be represented by "? >" in the XML output!

  • Lee Linares

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2662

    That is very true. I did run into that also but at least it did not throw an error. Thanks for the heads up. 
    I really like this script and for my purposes the main goal is to identify the SQL modules that need to be reviewed for possible changes and your script does that extremely well.
    Thanks again.

    Lee

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